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Mizuno Golf has announced the first two members of its 2014 "Team JPX" roster of inspirational, "game-improvement" amateur players. Both will be featured in national advertising in the second year of the Mizuno "Play Famously" campaign. Jeremy Thee and Tony Taylor, from Denver, Colo. and Myrtle Beach, S.C. respectively, were selected from a pool of more than 1,000 candidates. 

For Jeremy Thee, who lives with paralysis in his right leg as a result of polio contracted as an infant, golf provides an invaluable physical and emotional outlet where he can experience the intensity of competition on a truly level playing field. The Denver resident found that much like life, golf provides several difficult challenges, but it's overcoming those challenges that makes the game so great and the key reason his love for the game is unmatched by any other activity in his life. Thee is a husband and father of a seven-month-old daughter.

"Golf has provided me a physical and emotional sanctuary where everyone is judged on an equal playing field and my passion for the game shines through more than my physical limitations," said Thee. "Mizuno has provided me with an unbelievable opportunity and I cannot believe I'll be playing in the JPX Invitational in September."

After three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Tony Taylor faced high levels of anxiety causing undue stress on himself and his family. Golf became a place of solace for him in coping with these issues brought on by his time at war. The game became therapeutic for Taylor, providing him camaraderie similar to the Marine Corps, while assimilating him back into everyday society. In Taylor's eyes, golf is an art form that helped shape his career aspirations of working toward a degree in Turfgrass Management in hopes of one day becoming a golf-course superintendent.

"My involvement in the game of golf has provided a therapeutic outlet and a constructive obsession in my transition home from combat. The challenges of the game and the camaraderie amongst friends have been key tools in my recovery and my ability to become not only a better person but also a better husband and father as well," said Taylor. "Mizuno's appreciation for the average golfer and our inspiring reasons for playing the game really connected with me, I'm ecstatic to be apart of Team JPX."

The initial members of "Team JPX" will be outfitted from head to toe with Mizuno gear and apparel, including the new JPX EZ irons, and will begin their personal game-improvement journeys in preparation for competition at the 2nd annual JPX Invitational in Atlanta in August.

"The stories of Jeremy and Tony are just the start of many stories of triumph to come with this year's Play Famously campaign," said Dick Lyons, Vice President and General Manager, Golf and Team Sports Division for Mizuno USA. "These stories of perseverance serve as inspiration for us and we are proud to call both men Mizuno Ambassadors and members of ‘Team JPX.’ In the coming months, we are excited to watch their journey unfold as they hone their golf skills for the JPX Invitational later this year."

The remaining 10 members of "Team JPX" will be selected through an online contest at where golfers are encouraged to try the new JPX EZ irons at a participating retailer and provide their feedback on the new game-improvement irons along with their submission of a short essay, photos and/or videos. The submissions should demonstrate their passion for golf and a specific challenge that golf has helped, or is helping them overcome in their lives. The next two spots on "Team JPX" will be announced Friday, March 21, 2014.